Blockchain was first introduced in the course of Bitcoin, a revolutionary cryptocurrency system, that Satoshi Nakamoto (2008) presented in his white paper. Blockchain represents the underlying technology of Bitcoin and is a secure, decentralized ledger for transaction processing. Besides applications in the financial sector, blockchain technology has various potential applications in the automotive industry.

In automotive, novel solutions are necessary to handle the increasing complexity and networking of cars. Upstream processes like the manufacturing of a car or downstream processes after the sale have to be reviewed for efficiency and accuracy of fit. Furthermore, the future smart vehicle will be part of a highly interconnected world (Internet of Things), which creates new challenges for the whole industry. Blockchain technology can improve existing processes and can be the solution to emerging issues. The operating principle as a distributed ledger can aggregate all involved parties on one platform, where tangible and intangible assets can be recorded, tracked, and managed. Faster processing, reduced costs, and simplified coordination are only a few advantages that can be achieved by using this technology.

For instance, supply chains in the automotive industry have to overcome a number of challenges to work properly. Various suppliers, distributed over the whole world, are interacting in complex and separated systems with each other, ensuring that cars are delivered to the right place on time. If blockchain technology is applied, the whole supply chain of a vehicle, from planning to delivery, can be represented on it. The car itself could be registered on blockchain as well. Thereby, proof of ownership or secure transfer of cars between individuals through smart contracts get possible, without involvement of a central authority.

Our work identifies, investigates, and evaluates potential blockchain applications in the automotive sector. We will assess advantages and disadvantages compared to current systems based on different blockchain use cases.